The Echoes of the Mind (19) Emotion


When a man is prey to his emotions, he is not his own master. ~ Baruch Spinoza

A feeling is a perceptual reaction to an environmental or mental stimulus. A feeling develops into a more sustained emotion via emotive cognition, which is appraisal of a situation based upon one’s empathic temperament and experience, absent indifferent reason as the prime assessor.

All our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling. ~ French polymath Blaise Pascal

Whereas feelings are transitory emotions are remembered in the context in which they arise. This owes to reveling in the stimulation that an emotion provides. Emotional sustain is a product of evocative desire, irrespective of emotive content or the object of desire.

Emotions express affiliative identity. Cognized reaction to an object or situation bifurcates in a way that emotively translates into affinity or rejection.

The emotions and their physical expressions tell us how the mind is acting and reacting in a situation it interprets as favorable or unfavorable. ~ Alfred Adler

Positive emotions come from identifying with the object of perception. This is affirmatively felt as an attachment. Conversely, dislike arises with what one cannot identify with, leading to repulsion.

There are no neutral emotions. Emotions are inherently a valenced affect: either positive or negative. Either way, physiological arousal accompanies emotions, correlated in intensity. As such, emotions are readily transmitted through nonverbal communication.

The emotions are not merely a psychological but also a physiological subject, for they act upon the body with remarkable, often dangerous power. ~ Johann Friedrich Herbart

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Through experience emotions coalesce about sensate objects or contexts, engendering an emotional complex. Beyond polarity, emotions in an emotional complex may be both positive and negative: what is commonly called mixed emotions.

Mixed emotion complexes are particularly compelling, especially if the object of them is one of continuing association. The combination of affinity and rejection in an unresolved state especially excites the mind, as it invokes intractable problem-solving. Objects of mixed emotion are often objects of fascination.

Motivationally, emotions are a 2-faced coin: love and lack thereof. The edge of the coin is fascination, which is the attraction of unresolved interest – the kissing cousin to curiosity. Whereas inquisitiveness is instinctual intellect tickled by the desire to understand, fascination is emotion tethered to an object of attraction. Curiosity is sated by comprehension. In contrast, fascination easily lingers past understanding: a perpetual emotion machine of titillation.

Eventually the mind renders a judgment of affinity or repulsion to an object of mixed emotions, even as the emotional mixture may linger. This conflict is resolved either rationally, with regard to healthy self-interest, or emotively, when the emotive stimulation proves particularly pungent.

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Emotions are an evolutionary mechanism for memory retention, and a deceptive tool of the mind to have one invest in the illusion of material existence: to believe that actuality is reality (naïve realism).

Human emotions are no different than other animals. They emanate from the same sources: ecological and social interactions.

The environment has a significant impact on emotions. Light is exemplary: positive people are more optimistic on sunny days, whereas a bright day depresses those prone to gloom.

Human beings start to couple phenomena and feelings at the very beginning of life. Even infants only days old react to sensations emotionally. ~ American psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan

It is likely that all organisms, and perhaps even cells, have emotions or their analogue, as the need for selective memory retention is selfsame.

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Throughout life, sensory experience of the world comes with emotive labels attached. These tags provide the index by which memories are formed and learning performed.

Early experiences of emotional abuse or confusion, especially associated with parents, sow the potential for psychological problems throughout life. Such negativity can be carried to future generations.

Traumatic experiences in childhood can alter behavioural responses and increase the risk for psychopathologies across life, not only in the exposed individuals but also in their progeny. ~ Swiss behavioral zoologist Isabelle Mansuy

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Emotions serve as an instinctual determinant of episodic memory. Emotionally charged experiences are remembered, whereas the mundane is easily forgotten.

The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions. ~ Canadian neurologist Donald Calne

Emotions create a focal context to a situation. Emotions provoke signification: an assessment of meaning.

When the emotional takeaway from an event is strong, conceptual conveyance is weakened. The dominant import of an event tends to be either emotional or intellectual, with emotion holding the trump card.

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Negative emotions tend to be more stimulating than positive ones. Those who accept such emotions often hold onto them because they are excitatory.

The strangest and most fantastic fact about negative emotions is that people actually worship them. ~ Russian esotericist P.D. Ouspensky

In contrast, purely positive emotions are merely pleasant. Enthusiasm is not an emotional state so much as a mental construct with emotive overtones.

Emotions bind the mind to the body, creating a cohesive unit. In the instance of negative emotions, response time quickens. Mind-body accord is epitomized by adrenalized reaction in dire circumstances.

The power of negative emotions owes to their evolutionary value. Strong feelings instantaneously focus attention, form the basis for decisive action, and prepare the body to act out a decision. Fear is the leading edge of the survival instinct.

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Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it. ~ Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh

Emotions of every stripe can be psychologically potent. All keenly felt emotions tax the system, even those that are most rewarding.

Nothing vivifies, and nothing kills, like the emotions. ~ French Catholic parish priest Joseph Roux

By their power of influence all emotions alter perception and cloud cognition. Their indulgence is a statement of character as much is the inclination to the poles of positivity or negativity in emotive appreciation.

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. ~ English historian Horace Walpole

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2 emotional charges propel humans through life: desire and fear. Desire involves the expectation of a positive emotional return: momentary gratification. Fear aims at avoiding a negative outcome and its fallout. Whereas desire is enthusiasm for an anticipated moment, fear flows from memory of the past.

Biases and decisions are emotional experiences. From them we try to steer away from trouble and toward a spot of satisfaction.